19 Jun 2012

Tongan search continues

7:18 pm on 19 June 2012

A party of nine searchers will spend the night on the Tongan island of Late, west of Vava'u ahead of a search Wednesday for two Australian men, missing after their yacht was wrecked last Thursday night.

The men, who are both in their sixties, used a satellite phone to say they had run aground and their 50 foot yacht was breaking up.

The yacht's wreckage was found the next day.

An aerial search, lasting two days, by a New Zealand airforce plane Orion failed to locate the men.

After two days of rough seas, two fishing vessels dropped the search team on Late Island on Tuesday.

Rescue Mission Coordinator Mike Roberts says the search of the island should be completed on Wednesday.

The men were sailing from the Caribbean when their yacht, [Navillus] ran aground.